The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Professor Is A Label That Leans To The Left"

 This New York Times article reviews new research into why the Academy leans left. The researchers' conclusion: typecasting, which influences a young person's idea about what they want to be. The article reviews some other recent theories, also.

While I'm sure "typecasting" influences some, I'm waiting for someone to research the numbers of highly qualified academics who consider themselves libertarians, classical liberals, or economic conservatives and have not been able to get jobs in Academia. I know far too many, and their stories, for it to be a fluke.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Hollywood and Howard Zin's Marxist Education Project"

I shuddered when I read Michelle Malkin's report on the latest indoctrination efforts by leftist activist professor Howard Zin "The People Speak." Not only will this be aired on the History Channel, but Zinn has launched a related nationwide teaching project "Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change." Here's a few choice principles they promote:

"There is no such thing as pure fact."

In the "Rethinking Mathematics" part of their curriculum, "Short lessons, provocative cartoons and snippets of statistics" emphasize "racial profiling, unemployment calculation, the war in Iraq, environmental racism" etc., etc., etc.

It's a teacher's job to encourage students to "reach beyond [American] chauvinism" and "nurture student empathy" for U.S. enemies, such as the jihadists who attacked New York City on 9/11.

Parents - watch your children!

Monday, January 11, 2010

College Press Run by Students - Montessori-Style Pedagogy

According to Inside Higher Ed's, January 11, 2010 article, Champlain College is opening a new press, to be run by the students. It's going to use technological bells and whistles such as podcasts and Facebook fan pages, but it's aim is to give writing students practical experience in publishing.

Although I doubt the project creator, Tim Brookes, realizes it, this is exactly the kind of activity which teachers help students to create in every classic Montessori classroom. And for the same reasons. If students are to become successful as adults, they need to develop practical knowledge and skills. Good thinking Professor Brookes!

Obvious, but often ignored in current education.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Are "Learning Styles" Relevant to Teaching?

Some new research about student "learning styles" puts into question the belief that different students need to be taught different ways. The research implies that there is an optimal way to teach each subject, no matter the style of the learner. Some researchers dispute this article's conclusions.

I'm waiting for someone to have a unified theory of human learning to resolve these issues!

Hat tip to Iris Bell for the article.